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Choking is one of the most beautiful ways to die. It is also the scariest.

In fourth grade, when I was the picking-ass of the entire class, people decided that it would jolly fun to get me to choke while eating. Normally I could suppress laughter at their little jokes, but one time they caught me off-guard. I forget what I was eating, some sort of rye-bread sandwich - but a large chunk became lodged in my windpipe. I coughed, fell to my knees; no one came to my help. Feeling the life slipping away, I noticed all the beauty around me: The auburn leaves, the clear october sky, the grass which showed through the leaves. Simultaneously, my body was going into fits to dislodge the food particle and my mind was going haywire. "I am dying," it told me, from a distinct third-person perspective. Supposedly I turned a few shades before the food was dislodged - but I will never forget the world of contrast during my bout - and how much easier it makes appreciating life's beauties nowadays.

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